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Thread: Optic for hunting Prairie Dogs

  1. #1
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    Optic for hunting Prairie Dogs

    I am planning on a trip to hunt prairie dogs next year. That is something that I have never done before and I thought that I would get input on to what type of scope I would need to get.

    I will be using a Tikka T3X Varmint in .223 for a primary with a T1x in .22 and a T3X Lite in .223 as extra rifles while the primary cools down.

    What power range and focal plane should I be looking at?

    I currently only have SFP scopes (Trijicon Credo 3-9X40) although I have owned some Athlon Helos 2-12 FFP scopes that I didn't keep very long because of the weight and the eye relief. It was too short to give me a comfortable eye relief on the long Tikka T3X action unless I mounted it very high which really unbalanced the rifle in my hands, otherwise, I liked the scope.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    NightForce ATACR with the reticle that has the little dot in the center of the reticle. Mil B or something. You can't OVER-Scope a 223 Tikka, and the ATACR line makes the NSX line look like Vortex stuff. It's that good.
    "What would a $2,000 Geissele Super Duty do that a $500 PSA door buster on Black Friday couldn't do?" - Stopsign32v

  3. #3
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    How much are you looking to spend?

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    Quote Originally Posted by joedirt199 View Post
    How much are you looking to spend?
    I was hoping to stay under $1k.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crow Hunter View Post
    I was hoping to stay under $1k.
    I highly recommend looking at the brownells MPO 3-18x if you dont mind the weight. Decent glass (really good for the money IMO), great reticle, tracks true, but its heavy @33oz.

    I take mine to 1k on a 223.

  6. #6
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    Wow, it will be fun! I have a buddy that went a few years ago with his daughter so I will ask him again about what he took, He had nothing fancy at all and shot thousands of rds from 7.62x54,308,22 & multiple 223 rifles from bolt guns to multiple ARs combined. I think the best scope he has is a Vortex PST. I wouldn't be against buying something special for your trip but I would concentrate on having more ammo than you think you will EVER shoot, knowing your 0 and your dope with each rifle, and bringing more than 3 rifles, LOL I'll get back with some info for ya.

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    Primary Arms GLX 3-18x44 is worth a look

  8. #8
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    Vortex pst 2-10 will work good in your price range. I kill a lot of prairie dogs with it and a 1-6. It depends what range will be your max though. Under 250yds the 1-6 would be ok. Above that 2-10. Iíve used the 2-10 with a sionics upper out to 800yds for accurate hits on targets. 800 might be a little long though for a prairie dog with the 10x. But the pst line is really good for the money.


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  9. #9
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  10. #10
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    What time of year will you be hunting and in which state? I’ve hunted them in New Mexico, Colorado and Kansas. My experience is, take at least 2 riffles with different optics. The first dogs you may see if you’re quiet and haven’t shot at the ones 300+ yards away, will be close, 100 yds or less. You can shoot these with a 17 HMR or even a 22 LR. A 3-9 scope works fine for these. Once you start shooting, the close ones will disappear for a while. To shoot the ones farther out, you’ll want a scope that will magnify 14-20x. You don’t need to worry about the low end of the range because you’re not shooting them in low light. 4x or even higher on the low end works fine. One other thing: in the heat of the day, you’ll get a lot of distortion on the high end magnification due to heat rising off the ground. Frankly, I think 14-18x is the most you’ll need. There are a lot of nice scopes that work. I use a Trijicon TR23-2g on one rifle and a Leupold 4.5-14x50 LR/T on another. I have a Swaro Z3 3-10x42 on my 17HMR. I’ve shot Pdogs out to 225 with the 17 HMR. You’ll also need a good range finder.

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